Mid-Staffs nursing chief: I’m not to blame

Janice Harry tells hearing that the word 'nursing' in her job title was 'misleading'

The former director of nursing at the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital has told a disciplinary hearing that the word "nursing" in her job title was "misleading", as she blamed frontline staff for catastrophic care failings at the hospital.

Janice Harry, 60, distanced herself from problems at the Trust and said that she had not "front-line-managed" nurses.

"The misleading element of my job was the word 'nursing', she told a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) fitness to practise hearing. "People thought that I actually front-line-managed all the nurses in the trust, and I hope it's been demonstrated that this was done in a devolved process.

Ms Harry, who worked at the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust between February 1998 and June 2006 and has since retired, is accused of failing to ensure enough skilled nurses were on duty, that wards were kept clean and patients were given enough food and water.

In one of the first full hearings into nurses from Stafford, she told the NMC panel that problems of short-staffing were never raised with her.

"When I was at the trust I recruited staff rather than lost staff," she said. "I had perhaps misplaced confidence in some of the senior staff on those wards, thinking they were doing things that perhaps they were not."

Ms Harry denies any misconduct.

Meanwhile, fellow Stafford Hospital staff Sharon Turner and Tracy White were both found to have inaccurately recorded patient waiting in A&E wards.

The hearing was told that Ms Turner had ordered a staff nurse to tell another to "lie about" breaches of four-hour waiting times targets.

Between December 2003 and October 2009, when Ms Turner worked at the trust, she spoke about patients and staff in an "inappropriate manner" the panel ruled.

She was found to have racially abused Asian junior doctors, reportedly referring to them as "suicide bombers". The panel found that she said patients "can f****** wait" and that "they want to get real".

In the case of A&E nurse Ms White, who is still employed by the trust as a clinical site manager, the panel ruled that she had changed patient records so that it would appear that the department was meeting waiting time targets.

Both nurses were also found to have transferred patients to other wards with "soiled sheets". Both nurses deny the allegations against them.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust was at the centre of a public inquiry after it was found that poor care could have led to the deaths of hundreds of patients as a result of maltreatment and neglect.

The inquiry highlighted the "appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people" at the trust.

The hearings continue.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

    Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

    £90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

    £100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

    Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee